Ayaat 104-109 ~ Yunus (Jonah)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

104. Say: “O you mankind! If you are in doubt as to my religion (Islâm), then (know that) I will never worship those whom you worship, besides Allah. But I worship Allah Who causes you to die, I am commanded to be one of the believers.

105. “And (it is inspired to me): Direct your face entirely towards the religion Hanifa (Islâmic Monotheism, i.e. to worship none but Allah Alone), and never be one of the Mushrikûn (those who ascribe partners to Allah, polytheists, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, and those who worship others along with Allah).

106. “And invoke not besides Allah, any that will neither profit you, nor hurt you, but if (in case) you did so, you shall certainly be one of the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers).”

107. And if Allah touches you with hurt, there is none who can remove it but He; and if He intends any good for you, there is none who can repel His Favour which He causes it to reach whomsoever of His slaves He will. And He is the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

108. Say: “O you mankind! Now truth, has come to you from your Lord. So whosoever receives guidance, he does so for the good of his own self, and whosoever goes astray, he does so to his own loss, and I am not (set) over you as a Wakîl (disposer of affairs to oblige you for guidance).”

109. And, follow the inspiration sent unto you, and be patient till Allah gives judgement. And He is the Best of judges.

Sura 10. Yunus (Jonah)

Commentary ~ How to Commit a Sin

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Here is an anecdote of Ibrahim Edhem or rather Ibrahim ben Edhem ben Suleyman ben Mansour el-Balkhi. He was nicknamed Abu Izhaq. He died in the year 161 or 162 (778-779).

It is said that someone came to find Ibrahim and said to him: “O Ibrahim I have done to myself much harm, give me advice.” — Hear now my advice and do six things:

  • When you have committed a sin, deprive yourself of eating the food that the Lord Most High gives you. – But I could never do that interrupted the other. – What! Ibrahim replied. Is it just that you always enjoy the resources that the Lord Most High provides you, while you do not serve Him and you do not stop offending Him?

  • If you are about to commit a sin, get out from the Lord Most High’s kingdom. – But the man said, His kingdom extends from east to west; how do I get out? – Well, stay there then, but renounce sinning and no rebel no more.

  • When you go to sin, put yourself in a place where the Lord Most High does not see you. – But you cannot hide one single act from Him. – Well then, said Ibrahim, is it acceptable that you live on food that He provides you, that you live in His kingdom and commit bad deeds under His eyes?

  • When the Angel of Death will come to claim your soul, tell him: “Give me respite; I will do penance”. – But how can the Angel of Death hear such a proposal? – If so, said Ibrahim, then do penance now, so as not to repent when the Angel of Death comes.

  • Once in your last home (grave), push away from your person the Angels Munkir and Nekir (the two angels that will question us in our graves). – But I cannot do that. – Ok then it is necessary to practice good works to be able to answer these two interrogators.

  • On the Day of Resurrection, when a Sovereign Order commands to drive the sinners to Hell, say you will not go. – That is enough, Ibrahim, you have told me enough.”

And he did penance.

Hadith ~ Hanzalah has become a hypocrite

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Hanzalah Al-Usayyidi (MAPH) who was one of the scribes of Messenger of Allah (SAWS), reported: I met Abu Bakr (MAPH) he said: “How are you O Hanzalah?” I said, “Hanzalah has become a hypocrite”. He said, “Far removed is Allah from every imperfection, what are you saying?” I said, “When we are in the company of Messenger of Allah (SAWS) and he reminds us of Hell-fire and Jannah, we feel as if we are seeing them with our very eyes, and when we are away from Messenger of Allah (SAWS), we attend to our wives, our children, our business, most of these things (pertaining to life hereafter) slip out of our minds.” Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) said, “By Allah, I also experience the same thing”. So Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) and I went to Messenger of Allah (SAWS) and I said to him, “O Messenger of Allah (SAWS), Hanzalah has turned hypocrite.” Thereupon Messenger of Allah (SAWS) said, “What has happened to you?” I said, “O Messenger of Allah, when we are in your company, and are reminded of Hell-fire and Jannah, we feel as if we are seeing them with our own eyes, but when we go away from you and attend to our wives, children and business, much of these things go out of our minds.” Thereupon Messenger of Allah (SAWS) said, “By Him in Whose Hand is my life if your state of mind remains the same as it is in my presence and you are always busy in remembrance (of Allah), the angels will shake hands with you in your beds and in your roads; but Hanzalah, time should be devoted (to the worldly affairs) and time should be devoted (to prayer)”. He (the Prophet (SAWS)) said this thrice. (Muslim).

Another translation of this hadith is similar but finishes like this: But Hanzala! One hour for the Hereafter, and one hour for the things of this world (and he (the Prophet (SAWS))) repeated this three times.

Commentary: This Hadith also tells us about the continence and piety of the Companions of the Prophet (SAWS) with reference to the natural instinct of man to think differently in different situations. This condition has nothing to do with Nifaq (hypocrisy). Islam is the Deen of Fitrah (pure nature) and takes the middle course in everything, and combines the benefits of this world and those of the Hereafter. It also satisfies the needs of the body as well as that of the soul.

SAWS: May Allah exalt his mention and protect him from imperfection
MAPH: May Allah be satisfied with him

Riyaadiss-Saliheen (The Meadows of the Righteous)
By Imam An Nawawi
Chapter 14, Page 54, No 151

Ayaat 1-5 ~ Al-Alaq (The Clot)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Listen to Recitation

1. Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists),

2. Has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood).

3. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous,

4. Who has taught (the writing) by the pen,

5. Has taught man that which he knew not.

Sura 96. Al-Alaq (The Clot)

Commentary: These verses of Sura Al-Alaq are the first verses of the revelation of Allah the Exalted. The revelation of the Qur’an began in the night of Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree) during Ramadan after the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) had passed the fortieth year of his life. Here is a part of the Hadith as reported in the Sahih of Bukhari:

Narrated Aisha (DAS) the mother of the faithful believers: The commencement of the divine inspiration to Allah’s apostle was in the form of good dreams which came like bright daylight (i.e. true) and then the love of seclusion was bestowed upon him. He used to go in seclusion in the Cave of Hira’ (near Makkah), where he used to worship (Allah alone) continuously for many days before his desire to see his family. He used to take with him food for the stay and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food likewise again, till suddenly the truth descended upon him while he was in the Cave of Hira’.

The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet replied ‘I do not know how to read’. The Prophet added, ‘The angel caught me (forcibly) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, “I do not know how to read”. Thereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read, but again I replied, “I do not know how to read”. Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me, and then released me and said: “Read, in the name of Your Lord, who created, created man from a clot. Read! And Your Lord is the most bountiful” … (Bukhari, I, No. 3; VI, No. 478; Muslim I, No. 301.)

Commentary ~ Yet all that we ask for is not granted

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Here is an anecdote of Ibrahim Edhem or rather Ibrahim ben Edhem ben Suleyman ben Mansour el-Balkhi. He was nicknamed Abu Izhaq. He died in the year 161 or 162 (778-779).

Ibrahim was asked: “How is it that in the Word (Quran), the Lord most High says: “…Invoke Me, I will respond to your (invocation)… (Quran 40.60); yet all that we ask for is not granted. Ibrahim answered: “You have on your tongues the name of the Lord most high, but you do not practice the works He prescribes, you do not adopt the traditions of the Messenger (May Allah exalt his mention and protect him from imperfection). You recite the Quran, but you do not act according to its precepts. You enjoy the benefits that Allah grants, but you do not give thanks. Allah created an eternal Paradise for His obedient servants but you do nothing to try to achieve it. You know that Allah has created a Hell for His rebellious slaves, but you do not run away from it in horror. You know, Chaitan (Satan) is your enemy, and, far from being in a state of hostility towards him, you treat him as a friend. You also know that death is inevitable yet you do not practice the works of the Hereafter. You are not even able to learn from seeing what happens here in the dounia (this present world). Full of insight in discerning the faults of others, you do not see your own faults. How do you expect the prayers of people like you to be answered?”

Ayaat 285-286 ~ Al-Baqarah (The Cow)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Listen to Recitation

285. The Messenger (Muhammad (SAWS)) believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. They say, “We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers” – and they say, “We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your Forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all).”

286. Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us; our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Maulâ (Patron, Suppor-ter and Protector, etc.) and give us victory over the disbelieving people.”

Sura 2. Al-Baqarah (The Cow)

Commentary ~ Baraka

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Near Temen, in the city of Darvan lived a man full of generosity, kindness, maturity and reason. His house was the meeting place of the disadvantaged, the poor and melancholy. He was accustomed in distributing a tenth of his crops.

When wheat became flour and they made bread, he distributed a tenth. Whatever the nature or amount of the crop, he did so, four times a year, similar distribution. One day, he gave this advice to his children:

“When I am dead, perpetuate this tradition so that Baraka is in your harvest. Fruit from the harvest comes from the Unknown because it is Allah who provides it. If you dispose properly from His bounty, the door of profit will open for you. As do the farmers who sow without delay a part of their harvest. Sometimes what is sown is more important than that what is grown. It doesn’t matter! They have trust! Similarly, the shoemaker goes without in order to buy leather because this is the source of his income. But the earth or leather are only veils. The true source of gain is what Allah offers us. If you return your gains at the source, you will get a return on your investment hundredfold. Imagine that you placed your gains where you thought is their source and that nothing grows for two or three years. There will be nothing left to do except to supplicate to Allah.”

“Remember, it is Allah who gives us joy, not wine or hashish. No real help will come to us from your uncles, your brothers, your father or your children. Know this: A day will come when they will move away from you and your friends will become your enemies. Throughout your life, all they did was block your way like idols.”

“If a friend leaves you with resentment, jealousy or anger, do not be sad. Instead, give out charity and thank Allah for it. It was due to ignorance that you were attached to this friend in the first place. But now that you have escaped his nets, seek therefore a true friend. A true friend is someone whose friendship doesn’t ever cool, not even by death.”

“Remember this: sow your seed on the land of Allah so that your crop is safe from thieves and disasters at any time, the devil always threatens you with poverty. Don’t become his prey. On the contrary, let us hunt him. It is not worthy that the sultan’s hawk is chased by a partridge.”

But this wise man sowed the seed of wisdom on a barren land. (…) So mesmerized by the idea of sacrificing a tenth of their earnings, many people forget the Baraka they would get by doing so.